Disadvantages For Teenagers
Many girls experience irregular vaginal bleeding when using the Birth Control Shot. This means bleeding might occur at any time during the month. This is a common side effect of the treatment and can be very annoying. From a medical standpoint, the 'break-through" bleeding is not a reason to stop the treatment unless the bleeding is bothersome to you.
Some girls experience other side effects with the Birth Control Shot: headaches, breast tenderness, weight gain and depression. These side effects may take many weeks to go away once Depo-Provera is stopped. Bone thinning has also been seen in girls who use Depo-Provera for a prolonged duration; this seems to be a temporary effect which reverses when the Birth Control Shot is stopped. Experts recommend that the Depo-Provera not be used continuously for more than 2 years because of its thinning effect on the bones. It is also recommended that extra calcium and vitamin D are taken when using the Birth Control Shot which will provide extra bone protection.
The Birth Control Shot does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). (To learn more about STIs, click the "STIs" tab above.)